Nonprofit worker accused of sexually-motivated coercion
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The director of operations at a Safe Nest donation center is accused of coercing a woman into sex acts in exchange for signing off on her community service hours.
The victim told police she contacted the Safe Nest Donation Center to discuss completing her court-ordered community service hours there.
That's when 59-year-old Ben Vitale, who helps run the donation center, allegedly attempted to coerce her into sex acts instead.
The victim, a 24-year-old North Las Vegas woman, reported the incident to police on Sunday.
Vitale was arrested on Tuesday and charged with open and gross lewdness, forgery and sexually-motivated coercion.
Police are working to determine whether Vitale had any other victims. He has been employeed with Safe Nest for about 8 years.
Safe Nest is a local nonprofit that provides help for domestic violence victims.
Following Vital's arrest, Safe Nest released the following statement:
"On July 24, Safe Nest was informed that Ben Vitale, donation center director, was taken into custody by the North Vegas Police Department. The very serious allegations against Vitale stand in stark contrast to Safe Nest’s mission and commitment to provide a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. Safe Nest took immediate action upon learning of the arrest and circumstances surrounding it. We are fully cooperating with police and assisting in every way possible with their investigation. Vitale has been placed on administrative leave."
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.